We’re sure that, like everyone, you’re now all too aware about the importance of keeping up to date with news around all things COVID – and probably also sick of constantly checking the latests Gov.uk updates (and waiting for further clarification from the DVSA after each one).
So we thought we’d resume posting our own updates on the evolving situation here on our blog – which we will also link to from within our email newsletters, for all the instructors who are signed up to that.
Even though – or, more precisely, because – there is such a wealth of information out there, and a great range of sources, we’ve opted to provide brief to-the-point updates that are (hopefully), clear and simple, giving you no more than you need to know – and no less.
We’ll be posting a latest update around the tier system, and a reminder of the regulations involved for each of them (for those people who find themselves in a ‘new’ tier) shortly, coinciding with the imminent review of the regions’ tier placing, which should be announced by the goverment Thursday afternoon (December 17th).
For now though, lets recap some (tentative) good news… the reopening of (some) test centre waiting rooms – just in time for the cold weather hitting!
Waiting rooms begin to reopen
Following the earlier successful reopening of 28 waiting rooms across Great Britain, a further 93 waiting rooms were given permisison to reopen on December 4th.
The availability of waiting rooms across test centres will be kept under review in line with any further national and local restrictions.
As reported by NASP*, the DVSA had previously struggled to open waiting rooms nationwide, due to the challenges of ensuring social distancing is reliably maintained and the necessity of ensuring that exposure, for all users, to COVID-19 is limited. This was exacerbated by, and further exacerbated, staffing challenges – pluse the issue that, at some test centres, waiting rooms have been pressed into service as additional office space to allow staff to socially distance.
Please consult the latest published waiting room guidance on GOV.UK that explains rules for using the waiting rooms. In summary:
The number of people allowed in each waiting room will depend on its size and the maximum number will be shown on a sign on the door.
When using a waiting room you’ll need to:
- Wear a face covering (unless you have a good reason not to)
- Scan QR code or sign in
- Use hand sanitiser
- Wipe down anything you touch (before and after)
- Put used wipes in the bin
- Keep at least 1m+ away from others in England (2m in Scotland and Wales)
- Do not eat or drink in the waiting room
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have feedback about using any of the waiting rooms
As per their most recent update NASP has raised the issue frequently and asked for a clearer line of sight on when waiting rooms would be reopened nationally (as trainers were already starting to be left out in the cold in Autumn). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have also written to DVSA highlighting that the failure to provide adequate sanitary facilities and waiting spaces to customers (and what HSE deems as ‘workers’ in this context, i.e. trainers) is contrary to health and safety legislation and regulation.
*The National Associations Strategic Partnership is a representative body focused on promoting the interests of Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs). It is formed of representatives of the three main membership associations for driver trainers in the UK. Their stated aim is to protect and promote the interests of professional drivers trainers and help support the profession in its goals to improve driving standards and road safety in the UK. For further updates and access to a host of useful information and resources please also visit their website